A Deliciously Tasty Red Lentil Soup Recipe

If you want a taste of the Mediterranean or Middle-Eastern flavors, this tasty red lentil soup recipe will bring in all the spices, and flavors to enjoy. This soup is also adaptable for vegetarian and vegan diets if you choose, so plan to have everyone enjoy this dish when it is time to prepare it. Keep reading to see why you should try this red lentil soup and see how easy it is to make.

What is Red Lentil Soup?

A delicacy from the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern areas, this soup is a combination of red lentils and other veggie favorites to make a delicious tomato-based soup. Legumes and lentils are essential to a Mediterranean diet, and this soup embodies that cuisine. There is not a lot of meat in this area, and these lentils are used as a basic protein source, which is why they are the star of the soup. These lentils are also packed full of essential nutrients, like fiber, iron and B vitamins.

Another great reason to enjoy red lentils is because of how quickly they cook. They do not need long to break down and provide that creamy texture that you are looking for in the red lentil soup. You will also find that when you are gathering ingredients for this soup, it is very affordable and one of the easiest to make a large batch of and stretch.

Meal Prep or Busy Weeknight

Whether you intend to make a quick dinner one evening on a busy weeknight or you want to meal prep your lunch with a hearty soup that is full of nutrients and will keep you full, red lentil soup is the right soup for you and your family. This soup can cook up in a little over a 30 minutes and only use one dish to make, meaning that your dishes will be less later, too.

If you are meal prepping, you know how desirable a one-pot dish can be. Having your lunch cooked down in 30 minutes and then having to let it cool means that you get those Sunday afternoons back for a nap or some quality time with your family.

Gather Your Ingredients

This soup will require a trip to the market for seasonings and veggies to build and layer this soup.

  • Three cups of red lentils, rinsed and drained
  • One can of crushed tomatoes
  • Six cups of low-sodium vegetable broth
  • One diced onion
  • Two tablespoons of minced garlic
  • Two chopped carrots
  • Two teaspoons of cumin
  • Two teaspoons of oregano
  • One teaspoon of rosemary
  • Two lemons, juiced and zested
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sprinkle of red pepper flakes
  • Two bay leaves
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • Feta cheese crumbles

These ingredients are essential to the soup and there is not a lot of room for substitutions in this recipe. You can use dried and powder spices if that is all that you have and you are not able to find fresh options. You can also remove the red pepper flakes if you do not want any spice to the soup, at all. For those who want it extra spicy, double the sprinkle to a teaspoon or more.

When you choose your red lentils for this soup, you can choose either dried or canned beans. There is less prep for the canned version of red lentils, but they will need to be rinsed off in a colander first and then drained before they are used in the soup. Dried lentils will need to be rehydrated.

Begin Building Your Soup

Before you can start building your red lentil soup, you need to make sure your lentils are ready to cooked and have been prepared. They need to be drained and rinsed off if they were canned, or rehydrated if they were dried. If you have to rehydrate them, they need to soak in water for up to twelve hours before making the soup.

1. Prepare The Veggies

Once your beans are ready, it is time to prepare the veggies Wash your carrots first and then begin to chop them into similar size pieces. You want them to cook at the same time. Also, make sure you are dicing your onion so that it will cook down quickly.

2. Saute Away

Turn on your burner to a medium heat and add about three or four tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Once the oil heats up, it is time to add in the onions, garlic, and carrots. Give these veggies a steady stir and let them cook down to tender for about four or five minutes. Toss in all your spices to the mix.

3. Bring it All Together

Once you have your kitchen nice and fragrant, add in your lentils, broth, crushed tomatoes, and bay leaves to the party. Give it a good sprinkle of kosher salt and then stir your soup. You can boost your heat up to a medium high so that you get your soup boiling.

4. Simmer For a While

Once the soup reaches a rolling boil, turn the heat down to simmer, cover your soup and let it cook down for the next 20 minutes. Grab your pot immersion tool and have it ready once the soup has cooked down.

5. Blend and Simmer

Once the soup has cooked down to a good consistency, take your handheld immersion tool and blend up the soup. you want to make that creamy texture guaranteed from red lentils and smooth out the soup. This will take a couple of minutes, so keep your pot on simmer while you do this.

Once it is done, let it simmer for about five more minutes with the new consistency. Add in your lemon zest, lemon juice, and the fresh parsley you have on hand to the soup during this last simmer step.

6. Serve Your Soup

After a few minutes, your soup is ready to serve. Turn the burner off completely and ladle the red lentil soup into the bowls for your guests. If they choose, feel free to add feta cheese crumbles to add an additional creaminess to the soup. If you want to embrace that full Mediterranean flavor, this cheese will bring it all together.

Store Your Leftovers

If you are planning to store your leftovers, make sure you let the burner cool down completely first. Add your soup to an air-tight container and keep it in the fridge for up to four days. If you want to freeze it, it can last in a freezer-safe bag for up to three months without impacting the consistency of the soup.

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